Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Elephant in the Room


A friend posted this poem on the 1 month anniversary of their daughter's death.  It is so perfect. 

There's an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
So it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by with "How are you? And "I'm Fine."
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything-except the elephant in the room.

There's an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together.
It is constantly on our minds.

For you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.

Oh, please say her name.
Oh, please say "______" again.
Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
Perhaps we can talk about her life?

Can I say, "_____" to you and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me
Alone...
In a room...
With an elephant...

by: Terry Kettering

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: God Gave Us Heaven

God Gave Us Heaven

I had the opportunity to review the brand new book God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren which includes three of her "God Gave Us..." books.  I was thrilled to see that this trio included the God Gave Us Heaven title. 

This book touches a special place in my heart because of my calling to help those who are grieving. I especially look for publications that can help children through the grief process.  This is an excellent book to help children understand Heaven. I was excited to receive this book as our children talk a lot about their Aunt being in Heaven. Hopefully by reading through this book they will have a little better understanding of what Heaven is.


Momma C's Thoughts: The book opens with Little Cub asking Papa, "What's heav'n?". This begins a precious question and answer time between a father and son about death, our needs in heaven, and God. My disappointment in this book is that Papa did not go deeper on the question of how we get to heaven. He does an excellent job setting up "The Bridge to Life" but misses the most important part.


"So he sent his very own Son, Jesus, to be our bridge. All we have to do is walk across it to head toward our forever home."


We "walk across" the bridge by admitting we are a sinner and have disobeyed God, believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again and that His blood was shed to pay for our sins, and confessing our sins and asking Jesus Christ to be first in our life. (For more information on this, click here.)


As parents, we sometimes are scared to go deeper with our children. But God says that it just takes a childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 10:15). We need to seize every opportunity to explain God's greatest gift.

This book can be purchased separately or in the trio with God Gave Us the World and God Gave Us Love.  To read a review on the other books, click here.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Will Carry


Take comfort in these words from Isaiah 46:4:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Daily Bread: Learning From Erin


My father-in-law suggested that I read this devotion from Our Daily Bread.  I wanted to share it with you as well.  By clicking on the link, you can read the devotion and corresponding scripture.

Learning from Erin by David Branon

Erin’s life was so different from that of most 8-year-olds. While other kids were running and playing and eating ice cream, Erin was lying in a bed being fed through a tube—able to see only the brightest lights and hear only the loudest sounds. Her life consisted of needles and nurses and hospital visits as she battled ongoing illnesses and profound disabilities.

Surrounded by a remarkable family who cared for her with compassion and filled her life with love, Erin died before reaching her ninth birthday.

What can be learned from a precious child like Erin...Read more

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Having the Right Words for Those Grieving

I could go on for hours about the mind-boggling things that people said at the time of my sister's death and continue to say now 10 1/2 years later.  In her new book, Choosing to See, Mary Beth Chapman reviews this topic of people passing through the visitation for her 5 year old daughter, Maria. 

As Steven and I greeted the people who were able to come to the church, a lot of them didn't know what to say.  The thing that helped us most was when people would just hug us and say, "There are no words."

...Others would innocently try to connect our sorrow with some event in their own lives.  They were simply trying to relate the best they could.  But when people would say that they knew how we felt because they'd lost their dad or their mom or their grandmother, I felt numb.  I know that grief is grief and pain is pain...still, in natural order of this life we do tend to lose our parents and grandparents first.  Burying a five-year-old isn't in the usual order of things. 

...A couple of people actually told me they could sympathize with our grief because their dog or cat had been hit by a car.

Really?
A counselor at our church - who has suffered more grief than absolutely anyone should ever have to go through - said it is the responsibility of those grieving to help those who haven't.  He literally says to people after comments like the ones mentioned, "That comment was not helpful."  Can't say that I have ever done this but you never know!

The point?  Help those who are grieving by doing what you can to understand grief.  It will open your eyes and in turn bless those who are grieving. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dawn's Light

Dawn's Light (Restoration Series #4)

I started the Restoration Series by Terri Blackstock a couple of years ago after a friend gave me the book for my birthday.  I was immediately hooked.  It is one of the best series that I have read.  Totally different than any other set of books.  My mom was instantly hooked as well.  We both quickly got our hands on the rest of the series.

But to be honest, the fourth book in the series has set in my closet for a while.  Not that I didn't want to read it.  Frankly, I was scared to read it.  My mom prepared me that the plot was hard and would bring up memories that sometimes I just would rather not come up. 

So, here I am a couple years later, finishing the series.  The tears have come and pain has resurfaced.  But ever time the pain comes up I see another piece of healing occurring. 

In the next few posts, I am going to once again share with you passages from a book.  Passages that God is using to heal yet another portion of my heart - yes, even 10 1/2 years later. 

If you have not read this series, I highly encourage you to.  Even though the 4th book is the one that God has used the most to speak to me, please don't skip ahead because these books need to be read in ordre.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jesus Wept. Will You?


A few months ago a pastor at our church spoke on the helping others grieve.  Here is another post from his message. 

Last post, I discussed the hole that is left in your life after an Interrupted Expectation.  There are people who will come into your life during your hurt who will help the hole heal.  Others will come in with a "hammer" and make the hole bigger.

Today, I want to focus on the shortest verse in the Bible - John 11:35
Jesus wept. 
 Jesus' friend Lazarus has just died.  If you go back two verses, you read:
33When Jesus saw her [Lazarus' sister] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
Jesus - in His human form - came into the life of those mourning and He wept.  He entered into their pain.

When you are in pain, Jesus is holding you in His arms weeping with you.  Jesus isn't make the hole bigger.  Jesus is covering the hole with His own tears.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Deep Relationship with Another


For some, the Interrupted Expectation may be singleness.  Despite the deep longing in your heart, God has asked you to wait.  Please be encouraged by this poem. 

PERFECT LOVE
Author Unknown


Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. To have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God to the Christian says, "No, not until you're satisified and fulfilled and content with living, loved by Me alone and giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, to have an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.

"I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me -- exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or belongings.

"I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait.

"Don't be anxious and don't worry. Don't look around at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you'll miss what I have to show you.

"And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working this minute to have both of you ready at the same time, and until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I've prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me, and this is perfect love.

"And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself. Know I love you. I am God Almighty, believe and be satisfied."

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Bible Verses for Dealing with Others #3

 


Sometimes life throws you a curve ball by simply putting people in your path that you would rather not be around. It may be that they have annoying tendencies. Maybe they are on the opposite side of the spectrum than you in thoughts, beliefs, goals, attitude, and everything else. The easiest thing is to simply not deal with them. But sometimes your expectations and plans don't match up with God's.

This is the last of three blogs containing Bible verses confirming God's thoughts of dealing with others. Use these for prayer in your quiet time as you prepare for the times that you will meet with the person(s).
“Teach and counsel one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).


"Pray for each other” (James 5:16).

“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24).

“ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
Father God,
You have said that the world will know we are Christians by our love. May it be so in my life today.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Similar blog about dealing with others - Relationship with In-Laws

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bible Verses for Dealing with Others #2



Sometimes life throws you a curve ball by simply putting people in your path that you would rather not be around. It may be that they have annoying tendencies. Maybe they are on the opposite side of the spectrum than you in thoughts, beliefs, goals, attitude, and everything else. The easiest thing is to simply not deal with them. But sometimes your expectations and plans don't match up with God's.

This is the second of three blogs in which I am providing Bible verses confirming God's thoughts of dealing with others. Use these for prayer in your quiet time as you prepare for the times that you will meet with the person(s).
“Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:12).


“Don’t grumble against each other ” (James 5:9).

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another” (James 5:16).

“So don't judge each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian's path.” (Romans 14:13).

“Live in peace with one another” (Mark 9:50).

“Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10).

“Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bible Verses for Dealing with Others #1


Sometimes life throws you a curve ball by simply putting people in your path that you would rather not be around.  It may be that they have annoying tendencies.  Maybe they are on the opposite side of the spectrum than you in thoughts, beliefs, goals, attitude, and everything else.  The easiest thing is to simply not deal with them.  But sometimes your expectations and plans don't match up with God's. 

In the next three blogs, I will be providing you with Bible verses confirming God's thoughts of dealing with others.  Use these for prayer in your quiet time as you prepare for the times that you will meet with the person(s). 
”Greet one another” (Romans 16:16).


“Be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

“You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colosians 3:13).

“So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.” (Romans 15:7).

“Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

“So encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

“Do not speak evil of one another” (James 4:11).

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Same


In my quiet time I am finishing up Hebrews.  Today, God spoke to me from chapter 13, verse 8.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This verse reminded me of something that I heard singer and songwritter Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife say in an interview after his daughter was killed.  Here is a excerpt from the interview.


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

It is Well with My Soul


I have always loved the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" by Haratio Spafford.  But it wasn't until I heard the story behind the amazing lyrics that I truly appreciated it.  Here's the background of the song as shared by Kenneth Osbeck in "Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories."   How humbled I am to see all that Spafford went through and yet he was still able to say, "It is well."


Inner peace through an implicit trust in the love of God is the real evidence of a mature Christian faith. Only with this kind of confidence in his heavenly Father could Horatio Spafford experience such heart-rending tragedies as he did and yet be able to say, "It is well with my soul'."
Spafford had known peaceful and happy days as a successful attorney in Chicago. He was the father of four daughters, an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and a loyal friend and supporter of D. L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of his day. Then, a series of calamities began, starting with the great Chicago fire of 1871, which wiped out the family's extensive real estate investments. When Mr. Moody and his music associate, Ira Sankey, left for Great Britain for an evangelistic campaign, Spafford decided to lift the spirits of his family by taking them on a vacation to Europe. He also planned to assist in the Moody-Sankey meetings there.

In November, 1873, Spafford was detained by urgent business, but he sent his wife and four daughters as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Harve, planning to join them soon. Halfway across the Atlantic, the ship was struck by an English vessel and sank in 12 minutes. All four of the Spafford daughters-Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie-were among the 226 who drowned. Mrs. Spafford was among the few who were miraculously saved. Horatio Spafford stood, hour after hour, on the deck of the ship carrying him to rejoin his sorrowing wife in Cardiff, Wales. When the ship passed the approximate place where his precious daughters had drowned, Spafford received sustaining comfort from God that enabled him to write, "When sorrows like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul." What a picture of our hope!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll-Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and shed His own blood for my soul.And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, "Even so"-it is well with my soul.

Chorus: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Praying for One Thing and Getting Another


This excerpt is taking from Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God Bible study. If you have never done this study, I highly encourage you to.

Praying for one thing and getting another
Author: Henry Blackaby

Have you ever prayed for one thing and got another? I have. Then some dear soul would say “God is trying to get you to persist. Keep on praying until you get what you want. “ During one of those times I kept asking God in one direction and I kept getting something else.

In the middle of that experience, I started reading from the second chapter of Mark in my quiet time. That is the story of the four men who brought their crippled friend to Jesus to be healed. Because of the crowd, they opened a hole in the roof and let the man down in front of Jesus. Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5)

I started to read on but I sensed that the Spirit of God said, “Henry, did you see that?” I went back and began to meditate on that Scripture. Under the guiding, teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, I began to see a wonderful truth. The four men were asking Jesus to heal the man, but Jesus forgave the man’s sins. Why? They asked for one thing, and Jesus gave another! This man and his friends asked for a particular gift, but Jesus wanted to make the man a child of God so he could inherit everything!

I found myself weeping before God and saying: Oh, God, if I ever give You a request and You have more to give me than I am asking, cancel my request!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So Much to Be Thankful For


When we begin to feel sorry for ourselves, sometimes it helps to look around...

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced, thank you,Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so
modest, thank you, Lord, for life!

Author Unknown
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Excerpt: Dawn's Light

Dawn's Light (Restoration Series #4)

This excerpt is taking from Dawn's Light (Restoration Series #4) by Terri Blackstock.
Oh that "why" word comes up again.  How many times do I still find myself asking, "God, why?"  But as time goes by, God gives me little glimpses into His view.  I am thankful for these as they help when the pain seems unbearable.  I encourage you to look for these revelations and hang tight to the promises in scripture.
"Later, when we're able to step back and think this through we'll see the ways that He worked.  What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good."

Genesis 50:20 - You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
Romans 8:28  - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Excerpt: Dawn's Light

Dawn's Light (Restoration Series #4)
Below is one of the best illustrations of grief that I have found taken from Terri Blackstock's book called Dawn’s Light.  This is the 4th and final book in her Christian fiction series “Restoration Series”. Here is a little background knowledge of the series. The books focus on a crisis that sweeps the entire high-tech planet taking it back to the age before electricity. The Branning family is forced to learn to live in this new world without cars, electricity, and running water. The excerpt that you are about to read is a conversation between the Mom – Kay and the Father – Doug concerning the loss of their 13 year old daughter Beth. The Dad begins the conversation.


"When I was a kid, I had this friend named Joey. Joey had been taking violin lessons since he was three years old. His parents were accomplished musicians who played with the symphony orchestra in my town. Sometimes they would take us to rehearsal with them, and we'd run around the building while they rehearsed. They made a record, and Joey could play along flawlessly, in perfect harmony, as if he sat in that orchestra with them."

He saw the impatience in Kay's eyes, but he spoke as much for himself as her. "I envied him, so when I was about ten, I asked my parents if I could start taking violin lessons. They got me a violin. I practiced hard and learned "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." He chuckled softly. When I got really good at it, I put on the record - Beethoven's Fifth. I tried to play along, but I didn't sound anything like them. My strings squeaked and my notes were off key. Eventually, I gravitated back to "Twinkle, Twinkle' and played that instead. But the record kept playing. Beethoven's Fifth went on perfectly. They never missed a note.

"Where are you going with this, Doug? I'm not in the mood to talk about your failed career as a musician."

"Just listen." He got up and went back to the bed, sat on it facing Kay. "Praying in God's will is just like that. He tells us if we pray anything according to his will, it will be done. But our prayers aren't always in line with that symphony."

Her eyes flashed. "So you think my prayer for Beth was like playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star? His eyes rimmed with tears. "I think God was playing something much more beautiful.” She slammed her hand on the pillow. "The Holy Spirit helps us pray! Jesus intercedes with groanings too deep for words".

"But that's just it. Jesus knows the song, and we don't. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit interpret our prayers according to their music, even if we're out of keep and playing something else."

"Then what's the purpose in praying at all? Why even bother?"

"Our prayers matter, Kay. He listens to them. But his symphony is grander than ours." He pursed his lips, trying to go on. "He didn't neglect her. He knew the days that were numbered for her before there was even one."

Kay squeezed her eyes shut. "She was a child! How could he take children?"

"He takes everyone, Kay. It's what we humans do. We live and we die."

"Then don't tell me our prayers aren't useless!”

"Do you think Jesus prayers were useless? He prayed, "Not my will, but think… He understood that there was a symphony playing. What if God had been compelled to answer Jesus' payers to remove the cup? We'd still owe the debt of our sins. Instead, the Father saw the end from the beginning. His will was done. And thank God it was. Jesus' life wasn't wasted on that cross. And Beth's life wasn't wasted, either."

"God doesn’t always extinguish the fire in the furnace. But He does come in the furnace with us and say 'let’s go through this together.' It is a matter of surrendering to the wisdom of God and through this we gain strength."

Monday, September 6, 2010

God's Best

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

I read this quote at the beginning of a chapter in Mary Beth Chapman's new book Choosing to See.  The quote speaks for itself.
We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. 
                                                                                    C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Listen to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman's Story on FOF

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope


Yesterday I introduced you to a new book Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman.  Today, Focus on the Family is airing an interview with this coupleThis is a two part program. 

Hear about adoption and grief.  You will not be disappointed for the time that you spend.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Choosing to SEE

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
I have blogged several times about Steven Curtis Chapman and his family and the loss of their five-year-daughter Maria. If this name rings a bell, Steven Curtis Chapman has a list a mile long of awards he has won in the Christian music world. Truly some of my favorite songs are his. In May 2008, his 5 year old daughter, Maria Sue Chapman, was struck by a car driven by one of her teenage brothers.

I heard that his wife, Mary Beth, had just finished writing a book about her life and dealing with the loss.  I could not wait to read the book.  I was not only not disappointed but I was very impressed. 

Throughout my own Interrupted Expectations, I have read several grief books.  Honestly, most miss the mark.  Mary Beth has chosen to be real and raw.  Because of this, God is going to use this book in big, big ways.  While the last half of the book deals with the loss of her adopted daughter, the first half explains the Type A personality that had driven Mary Beth to control her surroundings.  Slowly, she has learned to let go. 

Several times, I stopped and reread passages to my husband to share in some very funny moments in the Chapman family.  Other times, I cried along as I read things that were very close to home.

In most book reviews that I do, I spend the next few blogs writing excerpts taken from the book.  For the first time, I am not going to do this.  In truth, I don't know where to start.  If I chose a place, I would end up copying 50% of the book and then we get into copyright laws!  But this book will show up time to time in the future as I reference back to it. 

If you are grieving - read this book.
If you have a friend grieving - read this book as you will learn very personal ways to bless a family.
If you haven't had Interrupted Expectations where intense grief is involved - read this book so that you have a better understand for those who have.

Over all - just read it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautiful Hole


A few months ago one of the pastor's at our church gave a message on "Presence: The Skill of Being There". This is the first of two post highlighting his message. 

When we are wounded, we are left with a gapping hole. We may feel like the hole is ugly and embarrassing. People may walk with a wide gerth around us or point and whisper. There are people in your life who will come at your hole with hammer.  They will say truly insensitive things that make the hole bigger.  Thankfully, there are people who have themselves grieved who will come with supplies to help your hole heal.  But God is going to make the hole beautiful. And...you have the hole because He is going to receive glory out of it. So, as you travel the road of grief, don't be embarrassed.  God is turning what the world calls ugly into beauty.

I love the imagery of the hole. 

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Understand Your Husband's Sexual Needs

No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage

Almost a year ago, I created a post called "The Honeymoon is Over."  I explained that one Interrupted Expectation you may be experiencing is your marriage. You got married thinking it would be all bells and whistles but the honeymoon ends quickly and life hits you dead in the face.


I introduced you to a book by Dr. Juli Slattery called No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage.  At the time, Focus on the Family was airing an interview with the author.  Now, FOF has created eight articles of excerpts from this book to help women better understand their husbands.  I found the articles very helpful and think you will too. 

Understanding Your Husband's Sexual Needs
 
1. Overview
2.Understanding His Sexuality
3.Sex Is a Physical Need
4.Sex Is an Emotional Need
5.Sex Is a Spiritual Need
6.Sex Is a Relational Need
7.So, What's the Holdup?
8.Your Husband's Sex Drive Is God's Gift to You
9.Next Steps / Related Information

Thursday, August 12, 2010

By Faith


Have you ever read a passage of scripture that you felt like God wrote just for you?  How about a passage that you thought you knew by heart but yet it seems brand new?

God used Hebrews 11 during my quiet time not too long ago in just this way.  You may recognize this chapter as the "Faith Chapter" or the "Hall of Faith".  Grab your Bible or click on the links and join me as we journey through this chapter.  Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Let's start by reading Hebrews 11:1-34

"It was by faith..."  Over and over, the verses show how God blessed Old Testament men and women who had faith.  Amazing miracles happened.  Lives were changed.  Death was escaped.  Weakness was turned to strength.  I get goosebumps just reading it!


"But others trusted God and..."  This is where I felt my shoulders fall.  Some were mocked.  Some died.  Some were tortured.  These are people that the scriptures say "trusted God' and yet bad things happened.  I found myself saying, "What about the first 34 verses?  Why didn't the chapter end there?"

Read the last verse with me...
For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.
The Holy Spirit said to me...It wasn't your lack of faith that has caused the Interrupted Expectations in your life.  God could have done a miracle.  But when you finish the race, you will fully understand that He had far better things in mind for you. 

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

With or Without?


Here are two quotes that I heard during the sermon at church a while back.
Life has disappointments.  Am I going to be disappointed with God or without God?

Have you found out life works better with God or without?
Only you can truly answer these questions. 

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Friday, July 30, 2010

A Time to Embrace: I Have Overcome the World

A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series)
John 16:33  "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
"In this world you will have trouble"? What peace could be gained from that?
But over the years she'd come to understand it better.
Troubles were a part of life...even events like losing ... a daughter...or having her mother killed.  Some troubles were brought on by a person's own actions - like the years she and John lost because of their own selfishness.  Other troubles were part of a spiritual attack.
...Troubles would come. ...The point of the verse wasn't to dwell on the certainty of hard times, but rather to be assured of God's victory through it all.  If the Lord walked [into the room] right now, He would cry with them and feel for them.
But before He left, He would give them a certain, knowing smile, and these parting words:  "Cheer up!  I have overcome all of it!"
This is an excerpt from author Karen Kingsbury.  Read more comforting passages like this from her re-released book A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series).  My review is available at our sister site - Our Out-of-Sync Life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hands Closed

Shades of Morning: A Novel
I had a friend that I called "my open-hand friend."  The reason for this is because she was always reminding me to release my fingers and give to God.  Stop holding on so tightly to things that I couldn't control. 

Here is my final quote from the new book Shades of Morning (read my review):

Kinda hard to received something new when your hands are closed tight around something old.
How many times has God wanted to bless me but I couldn't let go of what I knew - no matter how painful it was?  Take just a moment.  With your hands tightly closed, think about that thing that you are refusing to let go of.  As you pray, ask God to take that issue.  Literally release your fingers and give it to Him.  With open fists receive the peace that only He can give.